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    What would it take? Enhancing outcomes for high-ability students with disability

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    A troubling misconception exists that high-ability is enough to ensure positive educational, mental health and well-being outcomes for gifted students. Of course, we want all our students to develop their potential in school, so why are so many of our more able children failing in school and enduring the repercussions of reduced well-being? The notion that a student is not highly able if they are receiving poor grades is a common societal misconception, and this is commonly the case for gifted learners with disability, also known as twice-exceptional students. A considerable number of school students globally have intellectual ability in the gifted range, a high number of those are gifted with co-occurring disability, and many remain unidentified. It is, therefore, likely that a significant percentage of our classrooms have students who may be flying under the radar and are likely to be underachieving or unsupported within the school system. The purpose of this article is to highlight the issues around gifted students with disability that may contribute to their underachievement. Also discussed is how educators, counsellors and other key stakeholders can support this unique population of students

    Protocol of a 12-week eHealth programme designed to reduce concerns about falling in community-living older people: Own Your Balance randomised controlled trial

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    Introduction Concerns about falling (CaF) are common in older people and have been associated with avoidance of activities of daily life. Exercise designed to prevent falls can reduce CaF, but the effects are usually short-lived. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can reduce CaF for longer but is not readily available in the community and unlikely to prevent falls. A multidomain intervention that combines CBT, motivational interviewing and exercise could be the long-term solution to treat CaF and reduce falls in older people with CaF. This paper describes the design of a randomised controlled trial to test the effectiveness of two different 12 week self-managed eHealth programmes to reduce CaF compared with an active control. Methods A total of 246 participants (82 per group) aged 65 and over, with substantial concerns about falls or balance will be recruited from the community. They will be randomised into: (1) myCompass-Own Your Balance (OYB) (online CBT programme) intervention or (2) myCompass-OYB plus StandingTall intervention (an eHealth balance exercise programme), both including motivational interviewing and online health education or (3) an active control group (online health education alone). The primary outcome is change in CaF over 12 months from baseline of both intervention groups compared with control. The secondary outcomes at 2, 6 and 12 months include balance confidence, physical activity, habitual daily activity, enjoyment of physical activity, social activity, exercise self-efficacy, rate of falls, falls health literacy, mood, psychological well-being, quality of life, exercise self-efficacy, programme adherence, healthcare use, user experience and attitudes towards the programme. An intention-to-treat analysis will be applied. The healthcare funder's perspective will be adopted for the economic evaluation if appropriate. Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval was obtained from the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District Human Research Ethics Committee (2019/ETH12840). Results will be disseminated via peer-reviewed journals, local and international conferences, community events and media releases. Trial registration number ACTRN12621000440820

    Urban Warming and Strategic Advanced Cooling Potential Technologies for Dubai City-Monitoring, Experimenting and Modelling for Climate Change and Sustainability.

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    This dissertation explores urban heat island (UHI) intensity and correlation with 5-year climatic parameters, the deployment of large-scale heat mitigation strategies using cool materials and green infrastructures using WRF-SLUCM, and energy simulations using CitySim. Results show a significant association between UHI magnitude and climatic factors, with nighttime UHI and ambient temperatures being 3.3 °C and 1.3 °C greater in urban regions than in rural areas. However, no association was found between UHI severity and wind speed in north-facing winds, and a negative correlation was found in all other wind directions in Dubai's urban areas. This study compares the cooling capabilities of modified urban albedo and increased urban vegetation in Dubai, examining their impacts on a subtropical desert environment. Results showed that the drop-in peak summer day (14:00 LT) ambient temperature is 0.6 °C, 1.4 °C, and 2.6 °C when albedo is increased by 0.40, 0.65, and 0.80, respectively. While winter cooling penalty varies between 0.6 °C and 1.1 °C. The daily peak fall in ambient temperature (17:00LT) is around 0.0168 °C per unit of increased vegetation; however, the highest expected daytime summer temperature decline for increased vegetation of 25 %, 50 %, 75 %, and 100 % is 0.6 °C, 1.1 °C, 1.4 °C, and 1.7 °C, respectively. Increasing vegetation by 100 % results in the night-time ambient temperature drop of 0.0432 °C with a maximum temperature drop of roughly 2.4 °C. The study reveals that modified albedo and increased vegetation can reduce the Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) depth by 468 m. The cooling potential of these measures impacts sea wind and humidity but may increase thermal comfort in building environments. High-density areas have a greater mitigation potential than low-density. Climate and urban features influence the cooling potential of these measures, regardless of the linear function in temperature decrease and vegetation proportion. The study examines building energy performance in high-rise and low-rise residential and commercial buildings using mitigation approaches like cool materials and vegetation. The combination of these approaches was most effective in reducing urban heat and energy consumption, with non-insulated buildings using around 36.4 % more energy. This could help alleviate Dubai's excessive urban heat and reduce cooling demand

    The Edinburgh Companion to Literature and Sound Studies

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    This field-defining collection maps key intersections between sound studies and literary studies Provides a unique focus on literary applications of sound studies research Features a wide range of international, emergent and established scholars Interdisciplinary work throughout Considers a broad range of historical periods Features entirely new commissioned work; no republished material available elsewhere is included Collections on sound studies have seldom explored the vexed relationship between literature – a medium largely defined by its silence – and the dynamics and technologies of sound. This Companion is designed to help sound studies scholars grapple with the auditory capacities of text and encourage literary scholars to take full cognisance of the rich soundscapes mapped, or created, by texts read quietly. The essays assembled here consider a broad range of sound studies topics, including music in writing; the inscription of listening; worlding through sound; military and industrial noise; the gender of sound; racialised soundscapes; theatrical sounds; literature and sound media; and sonic epistemology. Helen Groth and Julian Murphet present a comprehensive set of new research on the relationship between sound and writing over time from a range of eminent, established and emerging sound studies scholars

    Trade-offs in the use of direct and indirect indicators of ecosystem degradation for risk assessment

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    Ecosystem risk assessments estimate the likelihood of major transformations (ecosystem collapse) over a specified time frame. They require an understanding of the biotic and abiotic processes that drive declines. Relative Severity and Extent of Decline quantify essential dimensions of ecosystem degradation as part of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Ecosystems risk assessment protocol. These flexible and powerful concepts are operationalised through ecosystem-specific indicators of functional decline. Here, we examine trade-offs in risk assessment between direct, yet data-demanding indicators and indirect indicators that are more widely applicable with global data sets. Using a case study of multiple tropical glacier ecosystems, we compared estimates of risk based on a direct indicator of functional decline (ice mass) with those based on an indirect indicator (bioclimatic suitability). The direct estimate of Relative Severity was based on the projected changes in ice mass using a glacier ice mass balance and dynamics model, while the indirect estimate was calculated from the expected changes in suitability based on a correlative habitat suitability model parameterised with current occurrence records. For reference, we calculated probability of ecosystem collapse from simulations of the ice mass balance and dynamics model. We found that the indirect indicator systematically underestimated risks of ecosystem collapse compared to the direct indicator and returned a different rank order of risks across glaciers due to prominent discrepancies in some units. Small and isolated glaciers located outside the tropical Andes are uniformly exposed to high levels of degradation and have high probabilities of collapse before 2080, whereas tropical Andean glaciers exhibit different rates of degradation, but are expected to undergo very severe degradation before 2100. For these larger units a detailed analysis of spatial differences in future projections could inform regional and local strategies for future monitoring, management and conservation action that can benefit people and nature. Evaluating Relative Severity and Extent of Decline over time and with different ecosystem-specific indicators allowed us to describe trends across a group of functionally similar ecosystem types and compare their performance in assessment units of different size and risk of collapse. The methods could be applied to other ice or snow-dependent ecosystems, while the case study should be instructive for development of risk indicators in many other ecosystem types

    Digital citizenship and disability in the covid era

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    The covid-19 crisis has accelerated automation and digitalization in many aspects of social life. Social distancing and lockdowns, combined with the imperative to preserve economic activity, have seen much work and education move online, while the digitalization of government services has intensified. These developments slowed the spread of covid-19 but their broader effects, both positive and negative, have been unevenly distributed. One group for whom covid-driven digitalization has been especially ambivalent is people with a disability. While remote forms of communication and work have afforded physical health protections to many disabled people, these same forms have had exclusionary effects that magnify pre-existing disadvantages and diminish citizenship rights. This article analyses this ambivalent dialectic and the politics of neoliberal digital citizenship with which it is enmeshed. We argue that digital citizenship needs to be decoupled from a constraining neoliberal rationality prioritizing ableist individual competition, techno-entrepreneurship and government cost-cutting

    Towards Digital Transformation as a Response: Examining Stakeholders’ Influence on the Digital Transformation Process

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    Digital transformation (DT) continues to gain popularity, while it still presents a contested and ambiguous process. This thesis explores the DT process in different scenarios with varied theoretical lenses befitting each scenario using three empirical case study papers. The study starts with a thematic literature review setting the context for the complexity of the DT process within the application of "smart city" calling for a renewed process-oriented research approach. The thesis proceeds with the analysis of how stakeholders influence the DT process in response to opportunities and challenges within and beyond organisational boundaries. In doing so, the research uncovers multiple premises for aligning, guiding, and provoking stakeholders’ influence on the DT process. The findings highlight the importance of the stakeholders' alignment process, nurturing stakeholders’ attention, and achieving resourcefulness in a resource constrained environment to deliver a successful information system through the DT initiative. From a theoretical perspective, the study focuses on the DT process to unlock a series of actions, interactions, and decision-making necessary for the success of the DT initiative, then expands the adopted theoretical lenses with new elements, premises, and interactions. Drawing on the findings, the study develops three process models that describe the initiation, operationalisation, and activation of the DT process. Practically, the research provides guidance to practitioners on planning, implementing, and dealing with the complexity of the transformation process along their DT journey

    Influence of Prefabrication on Job Satisfaction in The Construction Industry

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    New construction approaches, such as prefabrication, have been increasingly recognised as a strategy to boost productivity and support the industry’s sustainability and growth. Advancing existing understanding on the benefits of prefabrication to promote its adoption, this research aims to assess job satisfaction and work conditions of construction practitioners involved in prefabrication and assess its impacts on their job satisfaction, represented by job demands, job support, physical work environments, and job perception. Quantitative data were collected from 37 practitioners exposed to prefabrication and 30 practitioners involved in conventional construction. The findings show that prefabrication can lead to higher job satisfaction and better work conditions than conventional construction. Compared with conventional construction, practitioners working in prefabricated projects experienced improved workload distribution, better physical surroundings, and positive job perception. This research, therefore, provides new insights into the benefits of prefabrication and its potential to promote better mental wellbeing and higher productivity

    Getting wheels – Development and pilot evaluation of a booklet for families when introducing a wheelchair to children with a neuromuscular condition

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    When walking is difficult to attain or maintain, the ability to mobilise independently with the use of wheelchair equipment is often a positive and joyful experience for families of children who have a paediatric neuromuscular condition. Despite its benefits and often inevitable need, parents of children with a neuromuscular condition commonly respond to wheelchair recommendation with hesitance, and the emotional impact can be immense yet often hidden and unsupported. Wheelchair provision may be delayed, posing risks to the child’s safety, function, and development. This thesis aims to understand parents’ perceptions of wheelchair recommendation, address their unmet information and support needs, and respond to these needs through user-informed development and evaluation of a tailored psycho-educational resource. A scoping review of qualitative and quantitative studies was systematically synthesised and critically appraised existing evidence, identified research gaps, and informed thesis design. The review of 10 studies identified themes such as the value parents place on walking, the grief and gradual adjustment that occurs when a wheelchair is recommended, and the need for tailored supports. It also confirmed that parents’ perceptions of wheelchair recommendation have not yet been explored for paediatric neuromuscular conditions. My first original qualitative study assessed the views and experiences of parents whose child had a confirmed diagnosis of a neuromuscular condition and been recommended a manual or power wheelchair. Interviews were conducted with 21 parents (13 mothers, 8 fathers) and a phenomenological approach was used to analyse the data. Common emotional responses included grief, loss and denial, which affected acceptance of wheelchair recommendation. Challenges navigating the unfamiliar, complex and multifaceted process of wheelchair prescription were also highlighted as a barrier to wheelchair engagement. Facilitators included integration of psychosocial care into multidisciplinary clinical management and tailored education to enable parents to engage in shared decision-making with healthcare professionals. A subsequent qualitative study involved interviews with 21 neurologists and allied health professionals from Australia and the USA who had paediatric neuromuscular condition experience working within government and private sectors. A phenomenological approach was used to analyse the data and findings were consistent across countries and health sectors. Health professionals’ perceptions of emotional responses to wheelchair recommendations were congruent with those reported by parents. The lack of psychosocial resources and need for tailored education for families, funding bodies and wheelchair suppliers was also highlighted. These two studies informed the development of a psycho-educational booklet regarding the transition to wheelchair use for paediatric neuromuscular condition s. The booklet was developed by a multidisciplinary team and graphic designers, comprising 11 chapters and piloted with 10 parents whose child had a neuromuscular condition and was recommended wheelchair use. The feedback provided informed modifications to the booklet and survey items. The aim of the booklet was to address common emotional responses and concerns of parents and provide tailored information regarding wheelchair equipment options and the prescription process. The updated booklet was evaluated by mixed methods research among 27 parents (21 mothers, 6 fathers) and 9 healthcare professionals. All parents felt that the booklet addressed their emotional and information needs and facilitated engagement in the wheelchair prescription process. Written feedback reinforced that the booklet normalised parents’ feelings and was a useful reference for discussions between families and healthcare professionals. Quantitative thresholds for acceptability, usefulness and emotional impact were set a priori and all were met. All parents and healthcare professionals endorsed provision of the booklet to parents, preferably at the time of wheelchair recommendation. In conclusion, studies undertaken in this thesis have established that the provision of timely wheelchair equipment to facilitate independent mobility for children with a neuromuscular condition requires collaboration, education and engagement between healthcare professionals and families, and the integration of psychological care and social support. Importantly user-informed development and evaluation of a psychoeducational booklet suggests its potential use an effective resource for addressing parents’ needs and empowering shared decision making with healthcare professionals. Clinical implications of this thesis include booklet implementation within Australian paediatric neuromuscular clinics, adaptation to culturally and linguistically diverse populations, and education for stakeholders such as community therapists, funding bodies and equipment suppliers. Future directions for research include prospective examination of booklet use in clinical practice and development of a child-centred booklet


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